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Chapter 1

LIFESCI 2D03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Scientific Literacy, Null Hypothesis, Research Question

Life Sciences
Course Code
Rashid Khan

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Animal Behaviour Chapter 1
The Science of Animal Behaviour
1.1 Animals and Their Behaviour Are an Integral Part of Human Society
Humans have been depicting animals and their behaviour for tens of thousands of years, as
proven by prehistoric cave paintings. Animals provide working companions, research subjects, and
Recognizing and Defining Behaviour
- Animal behaviour: any internally coordinated, externally visible pattern of activity that
responds to changing external or internal conditions
- Internally coordinated: information processing that occurs within the animal’s body
- Externally visible: patterns must be observable and measurable, including behavioural
responses to changing conditions
Measuring Behaviour: Elephant Ethograms
- Ethogram: a formal description or inventory of an animal’s behaviours
Ethograms typically list or catalogue defined, discrete behaviours that a specific
species exhibits.
Using an ethogram, a researcher can measure the frequency, duration, rate, or
intensity of a behaviour.
- Different people must be able to recognize a behaviour independently
- Time budget: a summary of the total time and relative frequency of different behaviours of
an individual
- Ethograms are typically constructed for animals in captivity and used as a baseline for
healthy behaviour.
1.2 The Scientific Method is a Formalized Way of Knowing About the Natural World
Process of science: observing events, organizing knowledge, and providing explanations through
the formulation and testing of hypotheses
The Importance of Hypotheses
- Hypotheses are explanations that make testable predictions.
- The facts produced by experimentation that tests hypotheses are the results of many
repeated scientific studies.
The Scientific Method
- Scientific method: a formalized process that involves testing of hypotheses; observation,
research question, research hypothesis, prediction, methodology (testing of prediction),
analysis of data, results
1. Observation
2. Research question: a formal statement of an unknown that one would like to understand
3. Research hypothesis: an explanation based on assumptions that makes a testable
Alternate hypothesis: the statistical hypothesis that the proposed explanation for
observations does have a significant effect
Null hypothesis: the statistical hypothesis that observations result from chance.
The hypothesis of no effect.
4. Methodology: testing of prediction
5. Analysis of data
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